Who Does America Believe? 84,000 Votes Later, Here Is The Answer

Earlier in the week, president-elect Donald Trump tweeted that:
“It is for the American people to make up their minds as to the truth.” And now we have the answer.
When CNBC’s Podesta-panderer and Trump-denier John Harwood asked the question yesterday “who do you believe America?” we suspect he was not expecting the answer he received from over 84,000 American citizens…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

Pedro Da Costa Warns “Markets Are Ignoring Risk Of Devastating Trump Trade War”

Submitted by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa via The Peterson Institute for International Economics,
Are investors so focused on Dow 20,000 that they’ve become complacent about the true risks of Donald Trump’s vows to tear up trade agreements, erect 17 commercial tariffs, and deport millions of immigrants?
So far, markets have focused on the purportedly bullish portion of his broad-brush economic proposals – corporate tax cuts and loose plans for infrastructure spending. But they have largely neglected Trump’s potentially devastating approach to trade, one which scholars at the Peterson Institute for International Economics found could lead to a damaging, protracted trade war. The September report identified specific industries and localities that would be most deeply affected by a trade war with major US trading partners. And it’s not a pretty picture.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

The Only Man In Europe Who Makes Any Sense

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,
Since the new year will bring yuuge and bigly changes to us all (I truly hope both the year and the changes will leave you happy), I thought I’d start off by ‘reduxing’ two articles that contain further ‘reduxes’, Russian doll style. I do this because the man the articles are about is set to play a large role in those changes, certainly where Europe is concerned. And since the changes in Europe will be weally weally bigly, they will impact the entire world.
That is to say, we must seriously doubt if the EU -or rather, what’s left of it post-Brexit-, will live to see January 1 2018 in one piece. This is hardly an exaggeration, as you may be inclined to think. As I said recently, in Europe it’s not and-and, it’s if-or: with elections in Germany, France, Holland and probably Italy coming up, they don’t all have to turn out ‘badly’ for the pro-EU camp, if just one of them goes against the EU, it may well be game over. Therefore Beppe Grillo, leader of the Five Star movement, is a man to keep an eye on. And not just for that. The first item below, a 1998 video, is an addition to my original article from November 14 2014, and it makes clear, once more, that Beppe is no fool. Nor is he a right wing nut, or anything remotely like that. Beppe actually understands what money is, much much better than any of the politicians and economists that rule the old continent. That makes him a threat to them.
Below that video from 1998, my November 14 2014 article, which in turn cites a 2013 article. I know some things will look dated, but you’ll get it, I’m sure. I hope you also get why I repost it all: 2017 has begun.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

Evictions by Wall-Street Mega-Landlords Soar, Financialization of Rents Cause ‘Housing Instability’: Atlanta Fed

It blames the Fed & Bernanke; the dark side of ‘healing’ the housing market.
The housing collapse during the Financial Crisis keeps on giving. On Friday, Invitation Homes, a creature of private-equity firm Blackstone, and largest landlord of single-family rental homes in the US, filed with the SEC to raise up to $1.5 billion in an IPO. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and RBC Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners and get to cash in on the fees.
Invitation Homes, founded in 2012, now owns 48,431 single-family homes, according to the filing. It bought them out of foreclosure and turned them into rental properties, concentrated in 12 urban areas. Revenues for the nine months through September 30 rose 11.4% to $655 million, producing a net loss of $52 million. It lists $9.7 billion in single-family properties and $7.7 billion in debt.
Blackstone was a pioneer in the post-Financial Crisis buy-to-rent scheme, including issuing the first rent-backed structured securities in November 2013. The collateral for the $479-million deal was rental income from 3,207 homes. Blackstone paid rating agencies Moody’s, Kroll, and Morningstar to rate the bonds; so nearly 60% of the debt was rated AAA. Other tranches carried lower ratings. The overall cost of capital to Blackstone from the securitization of these rents was about 2.01%. Cheap money! Thank you hallelujah QE and ZIRP.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Jan 7, 2017.

China’s $3 Trillion In Reserves Questioned After PBOC Reports $41 BIllion In December Outflows

In late December, ignoring the official Chinese monthly reserve data and instead using a dataset provided by China’s FX regulator SAFE on cross-border RMB flows and on onshore FX settlements, Goldman calculated the true amount of Chinese FX outflows and found that Beijing has continued to mask the full extent of its capital flight, which in November spiked to $69 billion (well above the reported, currency adjusted number of $34 billion). Furthermore, it found that “since June, this data has continued to suggest significantly larger FX sales by the PBOC than is implied by FX reserve data.”
Even more troubling, Goldman calculated that cumulatively since August 2015 through November 2016, FX outflow totaled roughly US$1.1 trillion, while implied FX sales suggested by PBOC’s FX position (headline reserves after adjusted for currency valuation effect) were approximately US$630bn (US$540bn), indicating that the real rate of reserve depletion was nearly double that represented by PBOC reserve data.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 7, 2017.

Chinese Puzzle

After my whirlwind tour, I’m back and markets are acting strong.
The trend remains up so that’s really all we need to know.
Metals are as well, for now.
With Chinese New Year starting in a few week this strength is not likely to last from my view.
The Chinese buy a lot of gold running into Chinese New Year, then, they stop everything.
I am not yet convinced this is a major turning point for the metals and it would take continued strength into February to convince me.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 8 January 2017.

Stewart Dougherty: Government Bail-Ins, Asset Confiscations And The Gold Sword Of Self-Defense

[Preface: In Part 1 of our report, ‘Goldman to Trump: Situation Assessment, Government Bail-ins and the Precious Metals Threat,’ we inferred what Goldman Sachs’s second in command Gary Cohn might have said to President-elect Trump during their meeting on November 29, 2016. Cohn met again with Mr. Trump on December 2, 2016, and this time, we have inferred that he was accompanied by a second person. Here is Part 2 of our intuited, fictional report.] Mr. Cohn: It is a pleasure to see you once again, Mr. Trump. I have been pre-empted. I was asked by important friends of our firm to introduce to you their envoy, Dr. Hugo Ehrlich. I can vouch for the fact that he represents extraordinarily powerful people with whom you will be working closely going forward. Let me turn it over to Dr. Ehrlich so he can explain.’
Dr. Ehrlich: ‘Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. Trump. Our time is short, so let’s respect it and get straight to business.
‘I represent a global, privately held corporation known as Globanque. I doubt you have heard of it; we have a strict code of secrecy and silence. Globanque’s Directors would like to congratulate you on becoming president of the largest corporation in the world, the United States Government. Globanque, which owns the Bank for International Settlements and has meaningful stakes in numerous governments and other corporations, is also the majority shareholder of USG, Inc. Our friends at Goldman are intimately familiar with USG, Inc.’s ownership structure, because several years ago they helped Globanque acquire its controlling interest of your nation.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on January 7, 2017.

Byron King: At Some Point Economic Reality Will Set In

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
James Howard Kunstler’s podcast featured Daily Reckoning contributor Byron King for a conversation about money, metals and the economic reality in America. They start out conversation covering what is going on in gold markets and what is ahead following the patterns in 2016 and going forward in 2017. Byron King has been engulfed in research and extensive international travel, so having access to this exclusive podcast conversation is particularly insightful.
Byron King is a senior geologist at Rickards’ Gold Speculator. Mr. King is a Harvard-trained geologist who has been featured in a wide range of media outlets including The Guardian, Fox Business News and The Financial Times. He has worked in the oil industry and has a rolodex of experience in the natural resource sector.
When asked by Kunstler about the activity of gold over the past year and allegations of price manipulation King responded, ‘You are absolutely correct that the price of gold is being manipulated. I am not about to say that there are little gnomes in Zurich who sit around at 3AM and dumb futures contracts into the market to kill any rise in metals.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Craig Wilson ‘ January 6, 2017.

Goodbye Obamacare, Hello $29.1 Trillion Deficit

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Republicans from the 40-member Freedom Caucus are taking their collective first steps toward Obamacare cuts later this month.
And part of these initial steps in the process involve drafting a budget law that would expand the national deficit and increase public debt by $9.7 trillion over the next decade. Then, should the law eventually pass, the nationwide debt would rise to $29.1 trillion by 2026.
The Freedom Caucus – which needs to have its official ‘position’ on the matter by Monday (Jan. 9) – has historically been opposed to legislation that raises the national deficit without, at the very least, addressing a balanced budget at the same time.
In fact, on Jan. 5, The Washington Post pointed out that just last year, members of the caucus voiced outrage over similar legislation that would have likewise added to the U. S. budget deficit and nationwide debt. ‘We would rather torpedo the entire budget process than vote on a fiscal blueprint that increases spending without balancing the budget,’ the caucus had said in an official statement.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Casey Wilson ‘ January 6, 2017.

Debt Surge Producing Fake Recovery

What do the following headlines have in common?
US wages grow at fastest pace since 2009
Euro area economy ended year with strongest growth since 2011
Surge in home prices is beating the one in mortgage rates
Manufacturing in U. S. Expands at Fastest Pace in Two Years
German Inflation welcomed back
Obviously they’re all favorable, with the possible exception of German inflation – though even that is ‘welcome’. Taken together they paint a picture of a global economy that’s finally returning to the kind of solid growth and steady, positive inflation that most people consider both normal and good.
Unfortunately, the reason for the improvement is emphatically not good: In 2016 the world borrowed a huge amount of money and spent the proceeds. The result is ‘growth,’ but not sustainable growth.

This post was published at DollarCollapse on JANUARY 7, 2017.

JP Morgan’s COMEX Silver Stash Tops 83 Million Troy Ounces

The gold price was under a bit of selling pressure during the Far East trading session on Friday. That lasted until the London open – and then it rallied back towards unchanged. That rally, such as it was, got cut off at the knees at precisely 11:00 a.m. GMT in London. From there it chopped lower until the low tick of the day was placed around 2 p.m. EST in the thinly-traded after-hours market in New York. It inched quietly higher from there into the close.
Gold traded within a ten dollar price range everywhere on Planet Earth on Friday, so I shall dispense with the high and low ticks.
Gold finished the Friday session in New York at 1,172.20 spot, down $8.00 from Thursday’s close. Net volume was very high once again at just under 195,000 contracts.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 8 January 2017.

Trump Could ‘Blow Fuses Across the World’

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
We open with a remarkable fact…
The weeks following Trump’s election provided the greatest stock market rally to greet any new president – any new president – in American history.
But peer back through the thick mists of time… all the way to November if you can… and recall that a Trump win was supposed to crater the markets. All the experts said so. Remember?
Yet here we are, an inch shy of Dow 20,000.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Brian Maher ‘ January 6, 2017.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Reaches Another New High

Today’s release of the publicly available data from ECRI (Economic Cycle Research Institute) puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 144.7, up 0.7 from the previous week. It is currently at an all-time high. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at 10.15%, up from 9.52% the previous week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at 12.0, up from 11.8 the previous week and its highest since 2010.
‘Pinching Productivity’
ECRI’s latest feature article discusses the downside of possible repatriation tax reforms on labor productivity growth. A Q4 CEO Roundtable survey by ECRI suggests that many CEOs plan to increase hiring, but decrease capital spending if President-Elect Trump changes the repatriation tax policies. According to ECRI, this will lead to a subdued recovery in labor productivity growth based on simple math – the ratio of capital spending to hours worked = capital intensity. Read the full article here.
The ECRI Indicator Year-Over-Year
Below is a chart of ECRI’s smoothed year-over-year percent change since 2000 of their weekly leading index. The latest level is above where it was at the start of the last recession.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 01/06/2017.

6/1/17: U.S. Mint Gold Coins Sales in 2016: One Solid Year for Hedging

Updating the data set for U. S. Mint sales of Gold coins (covering both Buffalos and Eagles) for 2016, here is the end-of-the-year data:
In 2016, U. S. Mint sold 1,204,500 oz of gold coins, which is 17.9% increase on 2015. Remember that in 2015, sales of U. S. Mint gold rose 45.6% y/y. The series are generally quite volatile, but 2016 total sales by volume marked the best year of U. S. sales since 2010 and the third best year on record (since 2006). Sales of coins totalled 2,188,000 coins in 2016, up 6.2% y/y, following a 55.8% jump in sales in 2015. 2016 marked the busiest year on record for the U. S. Mint in terms of number of coins sold. Despite increase in the number of coins sold, average weight of coins sold came in at impressive 0.551 oz/coin in 2016, up on 0.496 oz/coin in 2015 and the highest average weight sold over the last three years. Chart below illustrates the trends:

This post was published at True Economics on Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Worst. Recovery. Ever.

As the champagne glasses clink in Washington over a record-breaking streak of job growth on record (as the percent of the population employed slumped), and the fastest wage growth since the start of the recovery (for managers), we just wanted to remind a few blinkered media types that Obama’s “recovery” has officially been the worst recovery in US history (despite adding almost $10 trillion to the national debt)…
When ‘fake news’ and ‘peddling fiction’ meet fact…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 6, 2017.

Week in Review: January 7, 2017

What does 2017 have in store? Our attention will be directed toward the Fed and other central banks, as the world’s financial elites try to navigate through increasingly volatile waters. Central bankers don’t have a strong track record for seeing bubbles, but it’s hard for them to ignore growing skepticism from both the public and even their own governments. Blinded by a fundamental misunderstanding of interest rates, they find themselves in a perilous position: either bring about the next bust by unraveling past policy, or risk losing the public’s confidence by failing to raise interest rates. This is why now, more than ever, it’s time to legalize competing currencies and offer the failing central bank model some real competition.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on January 7, 2017.

Political Correctness and Voter Resistance

In October, I published an article about Angelo Codevilla’s article, “After the Republic.”
has done it again.
I have worked with him for over 40 years, when we were both on Capitol Hill as researchers. I regard him as the smartest guy in the conservative movement. His specialty is foreign policy, but in recent years, he has become the top political analyst. His latest essay is “The Rise of Political Correctness.” Download it here. (Print it out at 80%.)
He is a scholar. He is going to take you through the labyrinths of communist history. He takes us back to the 1930s in the Soviet Union. He argues that the whole concept of political correctness as we know it today had its origin in the USSR under Stalin. It had its origins there because the Communist Party believed that what the party said was true was in fact true, and any attempt to challenge that was met with resistance.
He goes on to argue that the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci recognized early that Marxism had to deal with the issues of Western Christian culture. Marxism would not be successful simply by revolutionary violence because the people as a whole were not committed to the goals of the revolutionaries in the realm of culture. He correctly observes that in this sense, Gramsci was not an orthodox Marxist. I have been arguing this way for 25 years, and this is the first time I have found anybody writing about cultural Marxism who recognizes this fact. In other words, what we see today is a form of deviant Marxism, sometimes called cultural Marxism, which was opposed to the original formulations of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Marx believed that the structure of production or the mode of production is the substructure of society, and culture, philosophy, and morals are simply part of the superstructure which grew out of a prevailing mode of production. Gramsci thought this was dead wrong, and he was right.

This post was published at Gary North on Gary North – January 07, 2017.